Lately, I’ve been noticing my social interaction with other people has been ticking up. “How can that happen?” you may ask. “We’re supposed to be social distancing! Are you being irresponsible?!” No, friends, at least, not any more than my work is forcing me to.
I work a shitty shift. From 7p-5a every Wednesday night through Sunday morning, I’m at my job. It’s been like this (or similar time slot) for a few years now. Everyone gets together and games on weekend evenings and nights. I used to go to Magic the Gathering draft on Thursdays, DND on Saturdays, gaming with friends any other time. But I’m stuck at work. Alone.
Then, on my nights off, everyone is going to bed at a responsible time because, hell, now they have work the next day. And that’s perfectly reasonable but I’m often left on my own to entertain myself the whole night because nothing good is open at 3 AM.
But then everyone started working at home, social distancing, socializing started to be done on the internet and – most importantly – on my favorite platform: Discord. People were online even on weekdays in the wee hours of the morning. Holy shit! I can talk to people again! If you don’t know how/where to find a discord to join, locate your favorite subreddit or find a subreddit about something you love. There’s usually a discord invite there. Alternatively, you can join mine! It’s small but I’m nice; don’t worry. 😉
But I’ve also noticed many people bemoaning not being able to see other people, giving their “tips to get through it!” Many of these are from others who have WFH for a long while, and that’s wonderful. Use those productivity tips! I’m here today, children, to tell you how to stay sane when you can’t physically meet anyone.
the fact that everyone else has to do this too is a godsend. Take advantage of that. Like everyone’s been saying: Skype, FaceTime, call, hop in a discord chat if people are there and even if people aren’t. Maybe someone else will join. Hear other human voices. If no one seems to be up, message them just in case. Maybe they are available but just aren’t online and will hop on once they know there’s someone there.
video games and/or hobbies. If you’re not a gamer, there are plenty of free games out there for you to play (legally). The epic games store has (of course) Fortnite if you want to see what that’s all about or Dauntless if you want a more cooperative experience. They also have different free games every week that you just get to keep. Find a game that makes the time just slip away.
I personally highly recommend Stardew Valley. It’s not free, but it is worth every penny, even at full price. And if others get it, you can make a farm together. To be honest, it’s my most played game on Steam. There’s something for everyone, and it’s just a lovely game.
I also recommend anything by Jackbox Games. You can play these with friends and only one person (whoever plans on hosting the game) needs to actually own it. The others join in on their phones, laptops, tablets, etc. The host can make sure other people can see with Discord’s Go Live feature.
As for hobbies, YouTube is a GREAT resource to learn. It’s how I learned many of my crochet techniques. Just don’t expect to be good at it off the bat. The person teaching you has had years and years to get where they are, and you’ve only just started. Also, your own work is never as bad as you perceive it to be. As an artist, trust me on that.
it’s okay to nap. It’ll be wasted time, sure, but you don’t need to gogogo every second. Lay down, put a podcast on, and listen to it as you do the real world version of the fast forward button. Oh and don’t nap for 30 minutes; you will wake up groggy as all hell. 15, 45, or 60 minutes are fine. And if you think you want to plan for anything longer than that, just don’t set an alarm and wake up from the nap when your body says to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I hope these little tidbits help. I should note that I’m single and no kids so if you find yourself scoffing bc you don’t have the time to do those things bc partner/kid, uhh sorry I can’t help you there 😬 but for you lonely single people in cities with six roommates you don’t like enough to hang out with, hopefully this helps.